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Amid 'Quiet on Set' fallout, Kenan Thompson says sets for kids shows should 'be a safe place'

Kenan Thompson in a black jacket sitting on a metal chair with his hands clasped on a table
Nickelodeon alum Kenan Thompson urged production companies facing allegations of abuse to "investigate more." (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

In the ’90s, before his "Saturday Night Live" days, Kenan Thompson delivered laughs on beloved Nickelodeon shows "All That" and "Kenan & Kel." That's why he said he finds the bombshell "Quiet on Set" documentary and its fallout "definitely tough to watch."

"I have fond memories of that place and I have fond memories of my co-stars," he said before reflecting on the former child stars who alleged abuse in the documentary. "To hear that they've gone through terrible things like that is really tough."

Read more: 'Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV': 6 key takeaways from the documentary

Thompson, the longest-serving cast member on "SNL," broke his silence on the allegations against Nickelodeon and TV producer Dan Schneider in an interview with Tamron Hall that aired Wednesday. The comedian — promoting his memoir "When I Was Your Age" — told Hall the allegations detailed in "Quiet on Set" happened after his tenure. He did not comment on "things that I never witnessed."

"Quiet on Set" is a four-part docuseries from Investigation Discovery that seeks to shed light on allegations of sexual abuse and discrimination that loomed over Schneider's Nickelodeon reign during the late ’90s and early aughts. The series, which premiered March 17, features several former child actors (including "Drake and Josh" star Drake Bell), parents and crew members who offer their accounts of Schneider’s alleged abuse of power.

Schneider was credited as an executive producer and writer on both "All That" and "Kenan & Kel," but Thompson clarified on Wednesday that he didn't experience much overlap with the embattled producer, who was behind the hit shows "iCarly," "Victorious" and "Drake & Josh." He added that the "negativity kind of started happening outside of our tenure."

Even though he said he was distanced from the alleged abuse at Nickelodeon, Thompson offered support for the actors and staff who offered their accounts for "Quiet on Set."

Read more: Nickelodeon stars from ‘Quiet on Set’: Where are they now?

“My heart goes out to anybody that’s been victimized, or their families," he said. "I think it’s a good thing that the doc is out and it’s putting things on display, stories that need to be told for accountability’s sake."

Thompson's support for the former child stars didn't stop there.

Hall said her show reached out to both Schneider and the production company behind Nickelodeon shows, the latter of which said it has investigated the claims. Thompson — a father to two daughters — swiftly responded, "Well, investigate more."

After receiving applause, the "Good Burger 2" star added: "It's suppose to be a safe space, it's suppose to be a safe place for kids. To hear all about that is just like, 'How dare you?'"

Read more: Dan Schneider says 'Quiet on Set' allegations made him feel 'awful and regretful'

Thompson is the latest Nickelodeon alum to voice support after "Quiet on Set." "Drake & Josh" star Josh Peck offered his support to "the survivors who were brave enough to share their stories," including co-star Bell. In "Quiet on Set," Bell reveals he was sexually abused by dialogue coach Brian Peck. (Brian Peck and Josh Peck are not related.)

Bell is set to appear in a fifth episode of "Quiet on Set," which ID ordered earlier this week. The new episode, "Quiet on Set: Breaking the Silence," will premiere April 7.

Amid the "Quiet on Set" revelations, Schneider released a 20-minute video response to the documentary's allegations. He denied claims that he hired Peck to his sets, underlined the layers of executive approval on his shows and said he wishes he could have taken a different approach to leadership.

"When I watched the [docuseries], I could see the hurt in some people’s eyes and it made me feel awful, and regretful and sorry," he said. "I wish I could go back especially to those earlier years in my career and bring growth and the experience that I have now and just do a better job.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.